• John Locke Update

    Energy Crossroads, Part 1: Cooper’s Plan Is Unnecessary and Fraught with Costs to Consumers and the Environment

    posted September 21, 2021 by Jon Sanders
    Cooper's "Clean Energy Plan" has a very definite preference for extremely expensive, intermittent, and unreliable electricity resources, to the exclusion of viable, dependable resources. A report for Locke by energy researcher Jordan McGillis showed that Duke Energy's scenario most closely aligned with Cooper's plan would level enormous costs to consumers. Such reliance on wind and solar generation and battery storage carries many hidden and unconsidered environmental, supply-chain, ecological, and land-use costs.
  • John Locke Update

    Four Key Differences Between the House, Senate, and Cooper Budget Plans

    posted September 13, 2021 by Paige Terryberry
    The North Carolina General Assembly is still finalizing a two-year budget. Budget proposals from the House, Senate, and governor would have varying effects on North Carolina’s fiscal future. Spending restraint, tax cuts, and considerable savings would contribute to more opportunities and bigger paychecks for North Carolina families.
  • John Locke Update

    A “Record” Year in Film Shows the Wisdom in Limiting Film Grants

    posted September 2, 2021 by Jon Sanders
    North Carolina reportedly had a record year of investment in film productions in 2021 despite having a cap on its film grant, a seemingly counterintuitive result that's consistent with research on film incentives. Owing to so many other factors influencing film productions, research has found film incentives have diminishing returns and argued for strictly limiting the incentives even if they're to grow the film industry as opposed to the state's economy. Research also finds that film incentives fail at growing a state's economy, returning only cents per dollar of tax credit or grant given.
  • John Locke Update

    The House Budget Had Good Ideas for Opticians, and the Final Budget Can, Too

    posted August 17, 2021 by Jon Sanders
    An earlier version of the House budget would have relaxed some of the restrictions North Carolina places on its licensed opticians. Those reforms would have followed some of the John Locke Foundation's principles for reforming occupational licensing, including universal license recognition as well as moving the state in the right direction toward a least-cost-state standard. The reforms were not in the final House budget, but they could be restored in the final conference report.
  • John Locke Update

    House Budget Plan Features Tax Cuts, Assertive Infrastructure Spending, and Pay Raises

    posted August 11, 2021 by Paige Terryberry
    The House budget plan, per previous agreement, would spend about the same total amount as the Senate plan. Differences exist, however, primarily with a less aggressive tax cut plan and more aggressive pay raises to teachers and state employees. Similar to the Senate plan, the House proposal would set aside significant funds in the Savings Reserve and Capital Infrastructure funds.
  • John Locke Update

    North Carolina: No Excess Deaths From Covid Since Mid-March

    posted July 29, 2021 by Jon Sanders
    Data from the CDC and state DHHS show that North Carolina has not been suffering excess deaths from Covid-19 since mid-March 2021. While Covid-19 is still out there, its effect on North Carolina is no longer causing a statistical anomaly in terms of deaths, meaning it is behaving more and more like an endemic virus, such as a flu, not a pandemic. If North Carolina is no longer witnessing excess deaths owing to Covid-19, then why does Gov. Cooper still keep the state in the minority of U.S. states still under a "State of Emergency"?
  • John Locke Update

    Progressive Recommendations Would Harm, Not Help, Hourly Workers

    posted July 22, 2021 by Brian Balfour
    A new report published by a left-wing group included policy recommendations they claim will help hourly workers. The recommendations, however, largely introduce more restrictions, costs, and burdens to hiring hourly workers, which leads to less hiring. A better recipe to help hourly workers would be to peel back layers of government meddling in the labor market, not introduce more layers.
  • John Locke Update

    How an Overzealous Licensing Board’s Threat Shows the Need for Structural Licensing Reform

    posted July 16, 2021 by Jon Sanders
    The state licensing board for massage and bodywork said reflexologists didn't practice massage and bodywork — then they changed their mind. House Bill 434 would ward off this licensing threat by creating a state healing arts commission to oversee reflexologists and music therapists, with other practices sure to be added. North Carolina needs structural overhaul of its occupational regulation, especially a careful, thoughtful approach in law to make sure any future regulation of a practice is the "least restrictive regulation necessary to protect consumers" and "demonstrably necessary and narrowly tailored to legitimate health, safety, and welfare objectives."
  • John Locke Update

    “Need”? Health Consumers Don’t Need So Much Time Wasted, Money Spent on CON Shenanigans

    posted July 8, 2021 by Jon Sanders
    In 2018, the state Division of Health Service Regulation determined that the people of North Carolina "needed" one — and only one — new mobile PET scanner. Three years and a fight in the courts later, we still don't even have that, but we do have a record of the bad behavior inspired by this "Soviet-style" central planning. This episode illustrates why North Carolina should join the 15 states that have already repealed their CON laws.

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